Marie-France Pisier dies at 66; French actress

Marie-France Pisier, a French actress who was discovered as a teenager by New Wave filmmaker Francois Truffaut and went on to star in such movies as “Cousin, Cousine” and Truffaut’s “Love on the Run,” has died. She was 66.

Pisier’s body was discovered April 24 by her husband, Thierry Funck-Brentano, in the swimming pool of their home in Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, France, according to the French news agency Agence France-Presse. The cause of death is not known but foul play is not suspected, authorities said.

Truffaut directed Pisier in her first film, “Antoine and Colette,” with Jean-Pierre Leaud, a short film that is part of 1962’s “Love at Twenty.” Pisier and Leaud played the same characters in the 1979 film “Love on the Run.”


“A friend sent him my picture and he came at the end of the school term and said, ‘Would you like to work in a film with me?’ ” she told the New York Times in 1981 about meeting Truffaut. “He was shy in front of a schoolgirl. It was very funny.”

Her career also included roles with renowned filmmakers including Luis Bunuel in 1974’s “The Phantom of Liberty” and Andre Techine in 1976’s “Barocco.” She also wrote and directed.

Pisier was born May 10, 1944, in Dalat in what was then French Indochina, where her father was colonial governor. At 12, her family moved to Paris.

The success in the United States of filmmaker Jean-Charles Tacchella’s 1975 film “Cousin, Cousine” led to opportunities in Hollywood, but most of the roles did not measure up to the quality of her work in France.

“I know there were bad reviews but I liked very much the part I had,” she told the New York Times in 1981 about “The Other Side of Midnight,” the poorly received 1977 film based on a Sidney Sheldon novel. “I had been working in France in the family of the avant-garde. After a while you want to break away from your family. Anyway I discovered you can learn as an actress, even in bad movies.”

A complete list of her survivors was not available.